Week 2 Tale Of The Tape: Detroit Lions At New York Giants
- QuarterbackMatthew Stafford started his season in ignominious fashion when he threw a pick-six early against the Arizona Cardinals, but he came back to have a dominant second half and lead his team to a Week One victory. Stafford does not appear to feel the pressure of having the most lucrative contract in the league, and his ability to lead comeback efforts raises his overall profile.The Giants did not look good in their Week One game at Dallas, and while the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. is part of the reason, it can’t be used as an excuse. Eli Manning seemed very hesitant to go downfield, and he may not have been confident in his offensive line’s ability to protect him. He needs to upgrade his effort in the Giants’ home opener.
- OffenseThe Lions are a much more dangerous team through the air than they are on the ground and that doesn’t seem likely to change at any point this season. Theo Riddick is a dangerous receiver out of the backfield, and Stafford will look to him in key moments. Golden Tate knows how to get open, while rookie Kenny Golladay is a major big-play threat.The Giants are a much better team when Beckham is in the lineup, and he ranks with Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh and Julio Jones of Atlanta as one of the best receivers in the game. Brandon Marshall looked like an afterthought in the opener and he may turn out to be a disappointment. The Giants need Paul Perkins to give them the threat of a running game.
- DefenseThe Lions don’t have a shut-down defense, but they have enough good players who can make big plays to make a difference most weeks. Safety Miles Kinnebrew’s 35-yard interception return for a touchdown helped clinch the Week One victory. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah can be a dangerous pass rusher while OLB Tahir Whitehead is a dependable tackler.The Giants have turned their defense around in the last two years and they have become one of the best teams in the league in that area. Janoris Jenkins is an outstanding cover corner, while defensive end Olivier Vernon has the moves to dominate blockers and get to the quarterback. Strong safety Landon Collins is a game-changing hitter and a very smart player.
- Special TeamsThe Lions had outstanding special-teams play last season as they did a fine job in coverage and they know that Tate and Dwayne Washington are capable of making big plays. PK Matt Prater is one of the most dependable long-distance kickers in the NFL.The Giants also do a good job in coverage, but Dwayne Harris is not always the most dependable player when it comes to catching punts cleanly. The Giants have turned over their PK duties to untested Aldrick Rosas, while Brad Wing is a middle-of-the-pack punter
The Giants were not on the same emotional level as the Cowboys in Week One, and they are going to need to upgrade their level here if they are going to get the best of the dangerous Lions.